Australian banks continue Apple Pay fight
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is continuing to assess the applications for authorization in regards to Apple Pay by five banks in the country after deciding not to grant the banks' request for interim authorization at this early stage of its assessment process, according to a press release from the commission.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corporation, National Australia Bank, and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank "wish to engage in collective negotiation and boycott activities with Apple in relation to its e-commerce Apple Pay platform and with other third party wallet providers in Australia." The banks first filed the petition last month. At the moment, Apple does not allow third-party software developers to access the secure element on its NFC capable devices.
"The ACCC has considered interim authorization within a short timeframe at the request of the applicants. However, given the complexity of the issues and the limited time available, the ACCC has decided not to grant interim authorization at this time. The ACCC requires more time to consult and consider the views of industry, consumers, and other interested parties," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
In deciding not to grant interim authorization, the ACCC took into account the potential for continuing effects on competition in the market, the extent of urgency for the request, any possible harm to the applicants or other parties if interim authorization is granted or denied, and possible public benefits and detriments.
"The entire ACCC authorization process usually takes up to six months, including the release of a draft decision for consultation before making a final decision. We expect to release a draft decision in October 2016. The ACCC’s decision not to grant interim authorization at this time is not indicative of whether or not a draft or final authorization will be granted," Sims said.
The banks, together with other participating card issuers, are seeking authorization to collectively negotiate and boycott on a range of issues. One of these issues relates to the banks' ability to utilize NFC hardware on Apple devices to enable contactless payments to be made through the banks' own digital wallets.